Who Is Walter Pless?

Walter_Pless

A teacher by profession, but is now in his 37th year as a football writer. Has written for "Soccer Action" (Melbourne), "Australian Soccer Weekly" (Sydney) and "World Soccer" (London), as well as for several Tasmanian newspapers. Currently contributing to "Goal!Weekly" in Melbourne and the Australian magazine "Soccer International". Played for Croatia-Glenorchy, Caledonians, Metro, Rapid and University in Tasmania, as well as in the United States of America. Coached University, Metro and Croatia-Glenorchy.

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Hoti and Donoghue 30 May 2014 KGV

Photo:  Tilford Zebras' BeQo Hoti (left) and coach Jed Donoghue at a media conference today [PlessPix]

Triple-headers aren’t new in Tasmanian football, so let’s get that straight from the start.

They were a regular feature of Tasmanian top-flight football at South Hobart in the 1950s.

Ludlow and Morton 30 May 2014 KGV

Photo:  South Hobart midfielder Caleb Ludlow (left) and coach Ken Morton front the media today [PlessPix]

The opening fixture would kick off at 11am and the final game would finish in semi-darkness at around 4.45pm.

South Hobart  -  everyone knew it as such in those days before it somehow came to be called Darcy Street, or Washington Street, or more correctly, South Hobart Oval  -  was often more like a ploughed field after three games in one day.

At times, it was impossible to differentiate between the teams as the players trooped off after the final whistle.

There endeth today’s history lesson.

Let’s get on to the triple header scheduled for Grove Road  -  oops, I mean KGV Park  -   tomorrow.

That’ll be played on an artificial pitch, so no problems in distinguishing the victors from the vanquished at the end of these games.

I wonder whether the attendance will be as it was for the triple-headers in the 1950s?

Let’s hope so, because in other aspects the game has moved ahead in leaps and bounds.

And, all three games promise to be enthralling encounters with a great deal riding on the outcomes.

Glenorchy Knights kick off the Victory League programme for the day at 2pm against Northern Rangers.

A win is vital for the Knights if they are to move off the foot of the table, while Rangers will want to win to stay within range of leaders South Hobart.

Knights have signed former Olympia Warriors and Kingborough Lions United striker Seung Yong Jin, which should add some much-needed firepower to their line-up.

S Jin and Marchioli

Photo:  Seung Yong Jin (left) will make his debut for the Knights [PlessPix]

“[This will] will bolster our potency in our attacking third, combining with Harry Woolley and Jae Choi,” Knights coach, Chris Hey said.

“This provides Aaron Wilson and Vincent Kamano an opportunity to build confidence in the Victory Development League squad, and they will also be on the senior bench for this game.

“These two players are 15 and 16, still developing physically, so we need to ensure we manage their development carefully.

“Our last three games have seen different areas of improvement but again we gifted our opposition goals and conceded in those crucial periods of the game.

“This player group we have is a close group of players, who have been fantastic in supporting one another.

“In previous times, attitudes and commitment would have dropped off, but this group has a strong belief and I am enjoying being around this group of players.

“The tenacity and attitude of not giving up in the second half last week brought back memories of the Lakoseljac cup win years ago, so I, along with the players, look forward to further improvement and a good hard contest against a strong Northern Rangers outfit.”

Northern Rangers coach, Tim Lunnon, is confident of earning the three points.

“Last week, in the game against City, I think we played pretty consistent football,” Lunnon said.

“That’s what we are aiming for and I have felt the last two weeks we have done that pretty well.  Three points are always valuable.

“This week is another big game for us in the context of our season.  We battled against Glenorchy last time and it is important that we travel well and continue to play consistent football.  If we do that, then we place ourselves in a position for three points.

“Knights have some quality players in their line-up, with Hickey being a great play-maker in the middle and Harry Woolley, for example, who has been providing some drive forward with the others up front.  They are quite capable and so we need to be on our game, especially early.

“This game is crucial for our season.  We desperately need the three points as we approach the half-way mark.  There are a lot of teams vying for finals action this year, so, yes, it is really important”.

“Our team is really settled.  We have the same 14 guys once again who, together as a unit, have been doing a great job over the last two games.

“We have a pretty good mix of experience and youth, which is important, not only for this year, but going forward.

“We also have another two to three players knocking on the door to get into the team, but the group we have at present is starting to gel really well.”

At 4.15pm, Olympia Warriors take on Devonport City and, again. Both sides need to win.

Olympia need the three points in order to stay on the heels of South Hobart, while a win for Devonport could put them into the top-four.

Olympia will welcome back their Mexican striker, Eduardo Cabello, which may boost their stocks if he is over his jet-lag and in form.

“Devonport seem to be the type of team that get better as the season rolls along, so we need to be fully focused for the entire game in order to get the right result,” said Olympia coach, Glen McNeill.

“They will be strengthened by the inclusion of Joel Stone and this will add to their midfield.

Eduardo Cabello of Olympia Warriors at Warrior Park

Photo:  Eduardo Cabello is back from Mexico and will play for Olympia tomorrow [PlessPix]

“We will be welcoming back Eduardo Cabello.  He is an X factor player and we are looking forward to seeing what he can bring to the contest.”

Devonport City coach, Nick Owen, has been forced to make several changes to his line-up.

“We were really pleased with last week's performance, particularly our defensive work,” Owen said.

“The whole team defended as a unit last week, starting from our front-three [and] all the way down.

“Zebras had one or two clear-cut chances, but all their other chances were from a reasonable distance, which we planned for.

“This week, our Northern Premier League side have a bye, so hopefully we travel with a squad of twenty.

“We will likely rest Casey Eaves and give our young keeper Tom Pearce his first start.  Casey has a sore back and the two-week break will give his body a chance to repair itself.

“It was always our intention to give Tom a run in the seniors at some stage this year and now is the logical and ideal time for that to happen, barring any training mishaps.

“Beau Blizzard and Miles Barnard were Thursday withdrawals last week and were replaced by Ben Foote and the debutant Zac Mitchell.  Both had excellent games.  Beau will be out still but both Miles and Joel Stone may have to start from the bench, depending on how training goes.

“Olympia will be a stern test this week, but we learned a lot from our defeat to them in the first round and our squad is a lot better prepared than then, so we hope to reverse the result this time.”

Tilford Zebras will be out to repeat their 4-2 Summer Cup win over South Hobart when the sides meet at 6.30pm.

Zebras certainly have the personnel to do the job, despite the departure of Lonathon Ladic and Joel Stone.

Donoghue Jed 30 May 2014 KGV

Photo:  Tilford Zebras coach jed Donoghue is adept at using psychology [PlessPix]

It could all be in the mind and coach Jed Donoghue is well-equipped to prepare his players mentally for the task at hand.

“Devonport were very determined and took their chances [last week],” said Donoghue.

“We worked hard, had plenty of possession, and created goal-scoring opportunities, but we did not take our chances.

“I expect the team to bounce back from the disappointment, fight for the ball and impose our qualities on South Hobart.  We tend to play our best football against teams who are perched on top of the ladder.

“South Hobart have a talented goalkeeper, solid central defenders, two holding midfielders who will try to control the game, quick strikers who combine well, and fullbacks who like to get forward and support the attack.

“This is a very important game for us [and] we need to bounce back from last week and play to the best of our abilities.

“We have been creating on average 20 goal-scoring chances per game, but we really need to put three or four of those chances away every week.

“We need to take our chances up front, win the battle in the midfield and blunt their strikers.

“Nathan Pitchford and Josh Fielding are back, while Ethan Engels will be in the squad.”

Hoti BeQo 30 May 2014 KGV

Photo:  Tilford Zebras BeQo Hoti is hoping to use his speed against South Hobart [PlessPix]

South Hobart will still be without Cameron Rogers, who has tendonitis.

“I was a little disappointed in our overall performance but happy with the debuts in the first team of new signing Jayden Hey and of youngster Alex Walter and, of course, it was a very valuable and good three points,” said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, in relation to last week’s 3-0 win over Glenorchy Knights.

“It doesn’t matter who we are playing [because] every game is now like a cup final.  Everyone wants to beat us and they come to get at us and we would expect nothing less from Zebras.  A tough game.

“Zebras have had an inconsistent start, but they have quality players and at home at KGV they will be expecting to win.

“Every game we play is important.  This match is important for us in terms of another three points and maintains our position at the top of the ladder.

“A win would move us 12 points clear of Zebras, so, yes, it is important for us to win and put distance between us and one of the favourites.

Ludlow Caleb 30 May 2014 KGV

Photo:  South Hobart's Caleb Ludlow is back from injury [PlessPix]

“Caleb Ludlow will return to action following a week off due to injury.  We welcome Hugh Undy and Ben Hamlett back into a strong squad.”

The remaining game of Round 9 of the Victory League is at 4.30pm tomorrow at Mitsubishi Park in Launceston, where Launceston City host Kingborough Lions United.

“A number of forced player changes meant some significant changes to our line-up versus Northern Rangers and I felt that, defensively, we made it difficult for them, but we lacked drive and creativity in ball possession,” said Launceston City coach, Kurt Reynolds.

“Two of the three goals came from poor marking at set plays which we must address.

“This a critical match for both sides with endeavours to further progress on the ladder.  Kingborough have been in good form and will be difficult opponents on Saturday, but we are aiming for three points at home this weekend.

“Kingborough play a very direct style of football with Cowen and Schuth up front, and they have proven that they can get results and find the net.

“The 5-5 first-round draw in Kingston also proved that they can concede goals.

“With both teams placed sixth and seventh on the ladder, we enter this match with a ‘must win’ mentality.  Relative to our objectives, we need to secure three points on Saturday.

“We are currently working through numerous changes in available personnel and this week’s match will depend greatly on each individual fully understanding their role and contributing to our team shape and playing our style for 90 minutes.

“Aaron Mattorozzi returns from suspension and Chirack Kadima may start for the first time this season having returned from studies in Victoria.

“Midfielders Paul Scicluna and Yanjin Park will also return after an extended break from Victory League matches.”

Kingborough Lions United coach, Stephen Pitchford, is optimistic going into this game.

“Whilst being disappointed to lose to Olympia at home last week, we created numerous opportunities and continued to develop on our attacking style of football,” Pitchford said.

“In our last encounter, we shared ten goals.  Both squads have changed personnel since then and we expect this encounter to be a battle of the defences.

“City have an excellent keeper in Abougelis and, together with his defenders, restricted a strong Rangers attack last weekend.

“We need to get three points this weekend to stay in touch with the top four.

“Jack Turner will be missing this week due to work commitments and he will be replaced by Adam Hedge, who performed strongly in the Victory Development League last weekend after returning from an eight-week injury.

“Benn Watkins will also be included in the travelling squad after a strong performance in the Victory Development League, including a super strike from 25 metres.

“Our defensive unit, led by Billy Gasparinatos, Nick Cuthbertson and Tom Young, and supported by keeper Roan Gillam, are developing a solid understanding of the recently changed formation and provide a strong springboard for our midfielders to launch our attacking forces.”

VICTORY LEAGUE (After Round 8 as at 25 May 2014)

TEAM

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

South Hobart

8

7

0

1

32

7

21

Northern Rangers

8

5

1

2

23

13

16

Olympia Warriors

8

5

1

2

18

11

16

Tilford Zebras

8

4

0

4

15

12

12

Devonport City

8

4

0

4

16

15

12

Kingborough Lions

8

3

1

4

19

30

10

Launceston City

8

1

1

6

18

36

4

Glenorchy Knights

8

1

0

7

10

27

3

Morton Ken 30 May 2014 KGV

Photo:  South Hobart coach Ken Morton hopes his side can go further clear at the top [PlessPix]

Comments   

+3 #16 Anonymous 2014-05-31 10:56
Olympia's excellent form away from Warrior Park continues ...
Quote
-1 #15 Anonymous 2014-05-31 10:33
Quoting der:
Quoting Anonymous:
Billy Gas in defence yet Pitchford talks about developing an attacking style.

Strange.


Having players capable of build up play means that you can attack with much more surety. This is common across every sport on this planet.


BP in defence for Olympia
Quote
+2 #14 Question 2014-05-31 03:35
Quoting Appreciate Your Work:
Quoting Walt:
#7 Question, I doubt it, mate. I have my hands full taking photographs and jotting down notes. I enjoy football on radio and the guys are doing a great job. Couldn't match that. I was once the assistant commentator for a Perth radio station's live coverage of the game between Perth Glory and Melbourne Knights and, believe me, that was hard work. I was frazzled by the end of the 90 minutes. Cheers!


Walter you do an outstanding job for Tasmanian football, and we all look forward to your reports, pictures and commitments. Keep up the good work champ.


Couldn't agree more! Love your work, Walter! We would be in a pickle without you!
Quote
+11 #13 Football Man 2014-05-31 00:24
You saw it here first zebras will win tonight
Quote
0 #12 The Predictameter 2014-05-31 00:03
Knights in Upset Zebs in form reversal Warriors by a few Bprough Launy another draw
Quote
+3 #11 der 2014-05-30 23:38
Quoting Anonymous:
Billy Gas in defence yet Pitchford talks about developing an attacking style.

Strange.


Having players capable of build up play means that you can attack with much more surety. This is common across every sport on this planet.
Quote
+19 #10 Appreciate Your Work 2014-05-30 14:18
Quoting Walt:
#7 Question, I doubt it, mate. I have my hands full taking photographs and jotting down notes. I enjoy football on radio and the guys are doing a great job. Couldn't match that. I was once the assistant commentator for a Perth radio station's live coverage of the game between Perth Glory and Melbourne Knights and, believe me, that was hard work. I was frazzled by the end of the 90 minutes. Cheers!


Walter you do an outstanding job for Tasmanian football, and we all look forward to your reports, pictures and commitments. Keep up the good work champ.
Quote
+16 #9 Walt 2014-05-30 13:10
#7 Question, I doubt it, mate. I have my hands full taking photographs and jotting down notes. I enjoy football on radio and the guys are doing a great job. Couldn't match that. I was once the assistant commentator for a Perth radio station's live coverage of the game between Perth Glory and Melbourne Knights and, believe me, that was hard work. I was frazzled by the end of the 90 minutes. Cheers!
Quote
+1 #8 Star 2014-05-30 12:51
Nice "guns" tottie
Quote
+6 #7 Question 2014-05-30 12:42
Walter, what do you think of the Victory League Radio concept and delivery? Will we hear you on there one day?
Quote

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